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THE COUNTRYMAN

NEWS

 

Selwyn Johnston

INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES'

ADVOCATE

(Cairns... Far North Queensland)

 

Thank you for visiting my on-line office. 

I appreciate your interest in the issues that effect not only Queenslanders, but all Australians. 

Please let me hear from you about your views on the issues that matter to your Family, your Community and your State.  

Sincerely,

Selwyn Johnston

 

One person, with the support of the community, can make a difference

 

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Queenslanders' Basic Rights

 

Rights of the People

Self-determination is not necessarily the only right of the people of a nation as a whole. Australian law increasingly recognises that the Australian people are the ultimate source of authority under the Australian Constitution. Similarly, Australian law increasingly recognises between governments and the people as a relationship which has political (and sometimes legal) obligations of:

TRUST

CONFIDENCE

RESPONSIBILITY, and

ACCOUNTABILITY

Moreover, all governments in Australia hold and exercise their power on TRUST for the benefit of the people. This creates political obligations, if not legal obligations. In matters of public policy, various notions of 'the public interest', guide government action. All of these things can have a direct or indirect impact upon rights in legislation, policy-making and government administration.

Everyone in Queensland should be aware of the basic importance of the people and their rights in the political system. Former Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Anthony Mason, said in 1992 that:

Our democracy means 'government by the people through their representatives';

Because of the Australian Constitution, 'elected representatives exercise sovereign power on behalf of the Australian people' and 'exercise their legislative and executive powers as representatives of the people'; and

'In the exercise of those powers the representatives of necessity are accountable to the people for what they do and have a responsibility to take account of the views of the people on whose behalf they act'.

This is a powerful statement about the Australian people and their legal status. It has wide-ranging implications. The primary place of the people in Australia's and Queensland's systems of government also generate political and possibly legal obligations of responsibility and accountability in the exercise of government power.

Those obligations are owed by governments to the people as a whole.

 

Queenslanders' Basic Rights - (FULL  and Abbreviated versions)

 

 

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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870